Pumpkin Tart with Praline Crumble - Rancho La Puerta
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Pumpkin Tart with Praline Crumble

This delicious, crumbly and nut-crusted holiday dessert is a favorite of Chef Denise Roa. She has served it at a couple of Rancho La Puerta fall events and it has become an instant favorite. Chef Roa likes to remind everyone to practice good portion control and cut the tart into 16 flavorsome wedges.  You can still satisfy your sweet tooth craving while dining on a smaller slice and it’ll make your post-dinner stroll around the block that much easier.

Pumpkin Tart With Praline Crumble

Tart Shell:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs
2 cups roasted and pureed pumpkin or butternut squash, or 15-16 ounce can solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup evaporated milk

Praline Topping:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups pecans (or walnuts), coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Tart Shell: Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor and process until blended.  With the motor running, add a few pieces of butter at a time, until the mixture is crumbly.  In a small bowl mix the egg yolk and vanilla together until blended.  Add the egg mixture into the bowl of the food processor while the motor is running. Process until the flour is moist and the dough forms, at least 1 to 1½ minutes. Remove blade and turn dough onto a board; shape into a flat disc. With lightly floured hands press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of a 10” tart pan. If you don’t have a tart pan use a loose bottomed spring form pan, but only press the dough about one inch up the sides. Refrigerate the tart shell until it’s ready to fill.

Pie Filling: In a large bowl whisk the eggs until well blended. Add the pumpkin, sugars, spices, and salt, and stir to blend. Gradually whisk in the evaporated milk.

Pour filling into the unbaked tart shell. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 400°F and then lower the heat to 375°F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center is semi-firm.

Pecan Praline Topping: Blend the butter, brown sugar and flour in a large bowl. Mix in the pecans with a spoon or fingertips until crumbly.

Remove tart from oven and carefully crumble the praline topping evenly over the top of the pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the pie is set and the topping is slightly caramelized.

The tart can be made a day ahead and reheated in the oven before serving, or served at room temperature. Makes 16 servings.